I told the vet our history, starting back in late winter/early spring when the weave pole popping began. She did a thorough physical exam and told me that her rear legs and back feel great. Her left leg feels great. Then we got to the right front. Good range of motion on the elbow and wrist. The shoulder, however, not so much. Her triceps were spasming when the vet was palpating them, she said that is a secondary sign of something else going on. She extended Perri's shoulder okay (a "tricep stretch"), but when she abducted the arm laterally from the body, it is able to move further away from the body than it should. The vet said this is equivalent to a rotator cuff tear in humans. The vet also measured the soft tissue on Perri's shoulders - there is a 3cm difference between the right and left shoulder. The right shoulder is atrophied from Perri off loading onto her left side. Perri's injury will not require surgery (unless, for some reason, it worsens.) and the vet seemed very positive that Perri will make a full recovery with physical therapy and underwater treadmill sessions. We will focus on this for 6 weeks and then Perri will have a re-assessment.
We got going straight away with the underwater treadmill. I was not sure how Perri would react! She was nervous at first and then when the tank was filled with water she seemed troubled. When the belt started moving me and the therapist stood in front of Perri and praised her beauty and bravery while feeding her treats. Perri enjoyed this and began walking very nicely on the treadmill. She did ten minutes. The therapist told me that we will add two minutes onto the next session.
Now is the part of the post where I beat myself up! (It would not be a post in my blog if I didn't do that.) This injury was never healed from Spring. I know that. I wanted it to be, so I believed it when the vet at the agility trial told me that she was okay. Even though he watched her move and told me he could see it was her right front. He said she could run and play and I wanted it to be true, so I believed it. And Perri's shoulder may have felt better back then, after some rest...but it was not actually better. She was an amazing sport about retraining her weave poles, she really was. But it sure did not take long for the old symptoms to come creeping back in. (the popping out, and eventually, the sniffing. The "I can't.") This time, we are going to do it right. Perri deserves that. I am so sad we have to take a break from hiking, swimming, pouncing and yes , agility. But it's the only way to get back to my dog being sound and enjoying the things that she loves without any pain.